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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Autumn/Winter 2012 Wardrobe: Knits

Disclaimers: photographing complex yarns is tricky. At least I captured some cool colourshifting effects?
If you want to read up on the yarn I used / modifications I made, all the geeky knitty gritty in fact, my ravelry username is daintypirate. Stop looking at me like that, he's a beloved camp undead character from the children's book I was reading to niecelets when I signed up.


COMPLETED


Shawlette from a glorious skein of vairegated merino, a perfectly judged gift from the classiest of dames [she's going to slap me for that....] which I'm loving -- so much easier to whip on or off than a scarf. Who knew? Much nicer-looking too -- I've never gotten the hang of artfully draping a scarf so that it doesn't resemble/function as a garotte.


Beret (another Rose Red) in angelic unbrushed angora/wool, which has really come into its own since I got my hair chopped off. Seriously, pixification = no more hat hair ever, just chic dishevelment.


Cowl in one of my favourite yarns ever, Rowan Lima (a complex airy-soft heathered braid) in TAUPE. I wear this most often as a vest right now, belted at the waist -- when it gets colder will double it up at the neck for extra smoosh.


Two-Tone Sweater is the most virtuous project (made from navy merino recycled from an old ribbed cardigan) and least successful. This is actually the second rendition, and I'm still not entirely happy with the proportions or details (especially the collar edging, ack! so messy D:) Your sartorial insights would be v. welcome -- mainly styling tips rather than tweaking ones, as this yarn is clearly cursed will disintegrate if I unpick it again.
skirt: Jill Stuart [previously]

Chunky Sweater is an out-of-my-comfort-zone project in super bulky yarn, impulse-bought during the 50% off summer sales, using needles thicker than my index finger :O
An illustration: the needles for the chunky sweater vs. the two-tone sweater vs. the vintage lace sweater I made last season.

And the yarn:

....In conclusion, I should've ventured into Brobdingnagian territory earlier, because this yarn is a dream of a colour-shifting, surprisingly soft, lofty and light...er...delight, which transformed into a so-very-on-trend-sweetiedarling pullover after a mere week.
shirt: COS | skirt: T by Alexander Wang (shown here) | tights: Falke Pure Matte 100 Anthracite 



JUST FINISHED / JURY'S OUT
Cropped, open, textured cardigan in a luscious rose red. :D Sadly the open fronts hang at slightly odd angles, mostly likely due to the changes (numerous, not very well thought out) I made. Practicality may yet win out as I do need a topper for skimpy party dresses, but I am itching to take this apart right now :P
top: COS (shown here) | skirt: MILK (a Japanese brand) | tights: Falke Pure Matte 100 Black 


CURRENTLY
A cabled headband from leftovers from the trimming of the two-toned pullover:



PLANNED
MOAR pullovers! I've been in a cardigan phase for the last couple of years but am now all about the blocky, slightly shortened schoolgirl/boyish pullover now. Clean lines, straight shapes and all that prep.
swatching my new unwittingly Christmassy Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarns, courtesy of a sexy American 

53 comments:

  1. oh i wish i knew how to knit but I've no idea! how long does each of these pieces take you? Googling classes in dublin right now!

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    1. Check out knittinghelp.com! It has lots of videos and is how I picked this hobby up a few years back (I knew how to knit a line as a kid...that's it).

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  2. Oh, dear, that cardigan drape really is unfortunate. Is the front edging knit separately or worked in? If the former, I wonder if you need to use a different ratio of picked up stitches? It looks okay to about the armhole, but then the fronts look too long for the body. If it's all one piece, maybe some short-row shaping in the waist area would be the most help, but your hands may be tied by the stitch pattern.

    As for the two-colored sweater, if you do anything to it, from my perspective, you would be best served by redoing the neckband bind off one last time. Hard to tell from the photos.

    Otherwise, lovely. I've sadly been more "off" in my on-again-off-again knitting, and I need to get back to it. Moving to a place without real winter put a damper on my enthusiasm.

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    1. *cling*
      Cardigan: edging knitted at the same time as each front, then extended to form collar and grafted together at back neck before being sewn onto the back. Original pattern had it as a rolled stockinette collar but I modified it to a 1x1 rib. I added waist shaping; original pattern lacked it, but the stitch pattern is a basic moss, so no worries there. The yarn might just be too soft (it's 50/50 alpaca merino)...?

      Re: two-tone. Right, the collar is picked up from the WS of the body because it flips outwards, right? But THEN the very edging of the collar which extends out as button placket is picked up from the right side of the sweater which is the WRONG side of the collar! The half-row of taupe laceweight peeking out at the edge is driving me mad.

      Do you feel more sew-y in your new climate?

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    2. I'll bet you're right about the yarn. My quick guess is that your 1x1 ribbing just has a lot more body than the moss stitch (which I find to be floppy in some yarns). Result is that the fronts look stiff compared to the back. Blocking it with the ribbing pulled out more might relax it some, but it might also negate the whole neater-looking point of the ribbed edges. Honestly, looking at the ravelry projects, even the non-modified versions, when shown from the side, are less than wonderful.

      I don't find the extra taupe to be that distracting in the photos. But, the whole point of DIY is supposed to be not having to compromise. I feel you.

      I've had the realization just in the last few weeks that what I need here is a wardrobe of layering pieces, since it is never cold enough to need a coat. I'm just still sulking that I will never need that Fair Isle sweater that I should have knitted when we lived in Boston. Maybe a vest.

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    3. blargle! I HATE blocking and suck at it. But honestly i did make the mistake of assuming mine would resemble the flattering carefully posed promo shot rather than the real raveller ones :/ This is heading for the frogpond.

      Definitely a fairisle vest -- with a sheer shirt or schoolmarmish dress, it would be very versatile IMO.

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  3. I wish I could knit! How lovely. To be able to make warm, cozy things...*envious sigh*

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    1. <3 I bet you could. I'm not good with my hands and picked it up pretty readily :)

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  4. They are beautiful... you are so clever - I'd actually buy those!

    Nic x

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    1. haha, thanks :) I like it when people IRL ask me where I 'bought' my knitwear :D

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  5. How gorgeous are your projects - I wish I could knit, maybe I should ask mum for a crash course :) I can only crochet and my eternity scarf is the second year in the making so obviously I'm not properly devoted to that. You've inspired me to whip out my hooks right now!

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    1. \o/ I envy your ability to crochet! There are such amazing 3-D possibilities but my mind doesn't want to accept it somehow.

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  6. Those pieces look lovely! I crochet but would like to learn to knit. I have bags full of yummy handspan yarn that I need to put to good use!

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    1. you can crochet with them! :D I love working with posh yarn but sadly they're usually too impractical for sweaters (90% of my projects)

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  7. The extent of my knitting is....scarves. And with nothing fancy, either. I wish I could knit like you do!

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    1. aw! Believe me I boggle at some of the intricate lace shawls / cunning socks other knitters make. My brain just likes sweaters.

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  8. Oh wow, you finish so many things! I made many, many scarves - and a lovely teddy bear too - but have never managed to actually finish a sweater.

    I'm not sure what you dislike about the two-tone sweater - I love the colors, and I love how it fits you!

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    1. I pretty much knit a row here and there in between / during all other activities XD

      It's just personal niggles -- I hate where it ends (2 inches longer OR shorter and I'd like it better I think) and not sure the general vibe is quite 'me' / goes well with other stuff in my wardrobe...

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  9. I'm really impressed; I knit also & have bags full of stuff; throws, cardigans, pullovers, scarves, socks but then moths ate some & wool makes me itch so I've cut down. Also, my job keeps getting in the way! But I just bought Knit, Swirl by Sandra McIver & am planning to make several of these gorgeous jackets & am planning my colors. Is the cranberry cardigan from Interweave Knits mag? I saw a similar one there yesterday. For the 2-tone, maybe wear it with funky printed pants or skirt -- some lovely fabric, go to a quilting shop & look at japanese prints -- the contrast between all the textures & colors will blur out the fit issues you don't like. It looks lovely to me. Or wear it with a long tight jersey maxi? The lace pullover is beautiful & looks both light & very warm. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Thanks for all the lovely ideas! Wool and wool blends are my favourite to knit with so you have my sympathies :(

      I love the clever construction of those Sandra McIver pieces!

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    2. And the cranberry sweater is indeed from IK -- Fall 2007, which shows you how efficient I REALLY am :P

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  10. How on earth do you accomplish all that you do?! I'm in awe of your skills and drive, not to mention you're gorgeous, too.

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    1. The fruits of my procrastination, let me show you them! :D

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  11. I loved looking at your creations --- so pretty!

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    1. Thank you for leaving a comment! :D I love sharing with you guys :)

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  12. Hi Kate,

    I've been meaning to write before about your knitting prowess but this time I am absolutely bending knee in front of you! Winter is coming and you are the Queen of North! Hope your reign will be much longer than poor Robb's (who in a way deserved his fate by marrying that idiot, but the alternative was a Frey which was disgusting... Poor boy!) Anyhow, these are absolutely great. I especially liked the red cardigan, it is very elegant and fronts will be OK after the cardigan broken in. I am ashamed now to tell people that I can knit thanks to you :) I can't tell that I am checking what is out there in knitting community. I am sure that there are insanely intricate models and executions but what I like most in your knits are your impeccable taste and perfect fit. One can think that someone knit the navy sweater on you, it is so perfectly fitted.
    By the way, the new haircut is great as well,
    All the best,
    Aylin

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    1. Aylin, ILY. NA. <---- anagrams, not my strong suit.

      This is so astute, kind and witty <3 Though it's obviously a balancing act I definitely am more of a product than a process knitter -- much as I love to admire the new mathematical or colourbomb possibilities out there I only really have the patience to make what I want to wear.

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  13. This is so inspiring! I cannot wait to have the same skills as you. I have one question regarding patterns: How do you follow them? I sometimes find it so difficult to count all the stitches and rows and remember my place in the pattern. Do you any tips to make it easier?
    I want to try the shawlette, it's so cute.

    I'm going to update my projects onto Ravelry (at some point, this is a project in itself!), it's all scarves for now, but I'm fairly proud of them. I also have half a jumper but that's going nowhere fast.

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    1. Hi Caro! :D

      It depends a lot on the pattern -- is it just kinda crap / poorly edited? In which case I'd rewrite it on a separate bit of paper.

      If it's charted, I'd make lots of working photocopies and highlight / pencil through each row as I work it.

      If text, I find it helpful to read through the whole thing (like a recipe), work out which bit is doing what i.e. these decreases = waist shaping, those increases = widening the arm etc. and then chop it up into sections, working out how many rows and stitches you're starting with and ending up with for each. That usually makes it more manageable :)

      Which jumper are you making? I saw a really pretty Rowan one that reminded me of you recently
      http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chenin

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    2. Great tips! I just found blank grids so I'll try to translate text patterns into charts, which are much easier to follow.
      This is the jumper: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nice
      It's lovely but a bit too demanding for me in terms of concentration! I either forget to change the needles or the wool, or both! I spent so much time unravelling the thing. Then I realised I was twisting my stockinette stitch. That was the last straw, so I gave up :(

      This weekend I learnt to do cables :D

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    3. Oh, and the jumper is gorgeous!! I'll try it for sure (when I'm ready to tackle jumpers again). My next project is a hat :)

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    4. ah, I see! Yes the irregularity would annoy me, not to mention the constant switching -- both colourwork jumpers I've attempted are mouldering in the unfinished pile as well :/ I can't get a rhythm going on those with my style of knitting -- a row here, a row there...

      <3 Are the cables part of the hat? :D

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  14. A woman of many talents! They look so cute on (pardon my language) but they really really do!!!

    I like the pairing of the Two-Tone Sweater with a white skirt. The collar detailing just annihilates the need for accessories but what if you pair it with a bright, smart, cropped coat? Will it clash horribly?

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    1. <3 you crack me up :D
      I LOVE the idea of a bright peacoat! Sadly I've still not found one :/ Off to browse....

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  15. You are amazing. I love them all. But I really, really CANNOT believe you actually knit that red open cardigan. I am shocked!!

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    1. <3 Really?! Can you believe I'm probably going to rip it apart next weekend? :D

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  16. Nice FOs! Off to lurk you at the Rav!

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  17. and she knits as well! Ps: you have the perfect face for a short 'do...and those Fyrinnae swatches of the earlier posts are exquisite, especially the EOTD wearing the greener hue...stunning-ville

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  18. oh man those are great! I'm currently working on my purl...slowly, but I'll get there.

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    1. trona, get thee to youtube! There are so many ways of making any stitch; one will feel natural to you.

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    2. yes Ma'am! I shall peruse them, thanks x

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  19. knitting skillz, gimme!
    What I'm interested to see are detail shots of that delicious white top /eyeglint

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    1. You come be my dolly and I'll make you all the things and draw on your face and take you for walkies?

      Which white top, the shirt? :D It's a basic shirtwaist with some tweaks.

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  20. I would love to knit! Gosh, you're got some skills girl :)

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    1. All you need to is to get some sticks and string and I bet you could :D

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  21. In awe of your skills! I especially love the shawlette and the two-toned sweater. <3

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  22. Incredible!!! Your work reminds me of my mother's. When I was a kid (a long time ago), she used to knit for us (my sister and me), particularly on long and cold winter days.
    Sandra

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    1. That is such a huge compliment :D One of my favourite things about this hobby is getting to hear people's reminiscences of their mothers/grandmothers -- my own grandma passed away a few years ago but she was an incredible craftswoman whose skills I aspire to.

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  23. Your blog is my favorite since I discovered it. I'm really amazed by your recent posts about makeup, cooking and now knitting. You're skilled in so many creative fields! What else are you going to surprise your readers with? :)

    By the way, your Lady's Evening Jumper looks a million times better than the sample knit from the book.

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  24. I would pay big money for a hat with that kind of knit, it's absolutely stunning. I wish I could knit, maybe i should try and learn lol. I am jealous of your sweaters also, they are beautiful and i am a jumper fiend lol.

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